Image: Flinders University

No solar solutions are too big for the people of South Australia.

Flinders University is joining the renewable energy party by installing 1.8MW of solar PV across its campus.

This includes 4,135 panels to create a solar carport (pictured) over one of the campus’ existing car parks and a further 1,681 panels over six of the campus building rooftops.

While the project is costing almost $5 million, they expected to have a return within seven years and an energy generation life cycle of at least 25 years.

Not only are they aiming to change how they use and generate energy to run the campus in a more renewable way, but are looking to cut their emissions in other ways. The carport, for example, will include charging docs to recharge planned autonomous shuttles that will ferry students across campus from the future planned Flinders rail station.

This isn’t a completely new venture for the campus. In fact, it will be an extension to the solar which already exists on a number of their buildings.

This project will not only improve the University’s operational costs, but it will provide the opportunity for researchers in renewable energy technology at the University to test in a ‘real world’ scenario.

This is the first of a number of planned projects that have been drafted in the University’s sustainability plan. This plan is aiming for zero net emissions from electricity by 2020 and a reduction in campus electricity demands by 30%, from the 2015 baseline.

Flinders is not alone when it comes to adopting renewable energy as part of sustainability plan in the education sector. The University of Queensland, Monash University, Charles Stuart University and the University of New South Wales are just a small segment who are already executing notable projects to reduce the carbon emissions and electricity demands on their campuses.

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